“Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones.”
In most relationships, we desire someone who is faithful and honest. When I ask my single clients what they want in a relationship those two always make the list, and usually in the top five and at most top two. We want to know the people we are intimately acquainted with, even in just friendship or business as loyal to us. We want to know that they will communicate with us with honesty.
The devotion today mentioned that even dishonest and unfaithful people seek out these traits in a close relationship. God also looks for these qualities. I don’t believe this just means finances and resources, but also things like relationships, gifts, and talents. If He can do more than we can ask, think or dream (Ephesians 3:20) we want to be good stewards of what He entrusts us with.
So how do we remain faithful and honest in all things? The simple answer is to put God first. Of course that means different things at different times in our lives. It is progressive as God takes us from glory to glory. The more we submit, the greater responsibility He gives us. The greater the responsibility, the greater the blessing and reward.
One word of caution though, the motive can’t be the personal reward or blessing. God looks at the motive of our actions. He is responsible for the outcome based on our obedience.
When I was a child, I didn’t understand tithes. I understood giving. I went to a large church with a big bus ministry and good sized children’s ministry. We were encouraged to engage through a rewards based program. We earned”love bucks” that could be used to buy things, usually at Christmas time. One of the things we could earn bucks for was giving an offering. It was not about how much, but about giving.
As I grew into an adult, initially I continued this pattern. Honestly I gave what was convenient. I didn’t give sacrificially. It was often what was left over or when I got something extra. I didn’t give ten percent, but I did still give with a good heart.
As I drew closer in my relationship with the Lord, I went through a brief discipleship program. It was a few courses over a couple months. One of the topics covered was tithing. So I started tithing. I wasn’t completely faithful to the tithe. However, I was faithful to the ten percent. God asked for the first fruits, I typically made giving ten percent a priority, but not the top one.
Then one day, I felt led to give sacrificially. There were two things that I remember. One was the church asked for people to give in faith to buy chairs for growth. We were asked to give in faith for those we were believing God to bring into the fold. It was a couple hundred dollars, I don’t remember the exact amount, just that it was given in faith. Then there was a need in the youth ministry. My children were young, I had no leg in the game. I heard a clear amount that was likely close to or more than I made in a month at the time. God gave me the ability to give.
Shortly after crises hit my life on several fronts.. I kept tithing. It was on my net income, but I was faithful. My world was rocked, but for the first time ever my faith was solid. He taught me to be faithful in the little, with money, and He showed me He would be faithful in the much.
That testimony showed my husband God was faithful, because even as we walked through difficult times when I tithed, the bills got paid. The few times I gave in to my fear, there was more bills at the end of the money. Once I showed him that on paper he stopped questioning my decision.
It has been over a decade I have walked the journey being faithful to tithe on my gross income and give offerings where I feel lead. This year I walked through a wealth training. I had the opportunity to look back at my social security wage statements. I saw that I am blessed to be able to give what I used to earn as a single mom with three kids. That is not a testimony to me, but to God.
As I was faithful in the small things, God trusted me with bigger things. I have been honest with what He has given me. I have worked with the poorest of the poor and millionaires, I treat them both the same. I have had blank checks at my disposal, and was honest with what others entrusted to me. I not only follow the letter of the law, but the spirit of it. I have learned to steward what God has given me.
I am still learning in other areas of stewardship. Over the past ten years, God has worked with me on stewarding relationships, especially with my husband. I still have room to grow especially in building outside relationships, but my husband knows that he is a priority in my life (I just checked with him to make sure). The time God has given me, the talents He has placed with me, those are areas I am still in the process of growing my surrender.
God has got me to the point of honesty. As a child, I am sure my parents thought that could be an impossibility. I prefer honesty. I expect honesty from others because I am told I can be honest to a fault now. I can admit my failures. I can talk about where God is working in my life. I know I haven’t arrived. I am working on being faithful in all things to which He has called me. That is the current desire of my heart to be faithful and honest.
Prayer – Lord, thank you for taking me on this journey of where You have brought me. It was not at all where I was planning to go with this, but I am working to be faithful even as I share. Thank you for all the blessing You have entrusted me with, I never want to take them for granted. Thank You for letting me pour into others lives and the blessing of being able to share in their difficult journeys and transformations. Thank you for wisdom and compassion because I know in myself I have little to give. Thank you for allowing me to give to support Your Kingdom and causes that are close to both our hearts, I want to be in a position to give more and reach more. Lord, help me to continue to be faithful tonYou, surrendering my desires for Your desires. At the end I only hope to hear You say “Well done my good and faithful servant.” In Jesus name, amen.
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